Steven Bochco, a titan of the television industry credited for creating such shows as NYPD Blue, Doogie Howser, M.D., and Hill Street Blues, has died following a lengthy battle with leukemia. He was 74 years old.
“Steven fought cancer with strength, courage, grace and his unsurpassed sense of humor,” a spokesman for Bochco said in a statement. “He died peacefully in his sleep [at home] with his family close by.”
Bochco pioneered several modern-day aspects of television, including shows featuring large ensemble casts and storylines that paralleled real life. He was also one of the first producers to receive an overall deal from a network, which afforded him greater creative control than many of his contemporaries. He was also credited for discovering David E. Kelley, the writer and producer who would go on to create shows such as Chicago Hope, Ally McBeal, and Big Little Lies.
Collectively, Bochco’s programs won hundreds of Emmys, with he himself being the recipient of 10 awards. Hill Street Blues won Outstanding Drama Series for four consecutive years between 1981 and 1984. L.A. Law took home the same honor in 1987 and 1989, and NYPD Blue received that accolade in 1995. In 1996, Bochco was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.